Wall Drug

I Swear I’m Not Crazy

Stigma suggests otherwise.

Bit by bit, I’ve become more comfortable speaking up about my own mental illness. People hear that term, and they immediately think, “Oh no! What should I expect?” and they take a step back. Then they hear “bipolar 2” and they seem to turn and scurry away from the scary unknown.

I swear I’m not crazy.  I’m educating. I’m advocating for others who struggle. I’m attempting to stamp out stigma. I aspire to prevent others from giving in to suicidal tendencies.

Recently, I’ve reconnected with old friends via social media.  They knew me once upon a time when I was just me…quiet, happy, had close friends, living life as a teenager in high school.  What will they think when they realize I have anxiety and bipolar 2? It scares me to my core that it’ll be another nice-knowing-you-but-see-ya moment. Continue reading “I Swear I’m Not Crazy”

depression

Stuck In the Sludge of Depression

Mental Mud

Over the past week or so, I’ve struggled with a prolonged depressive state.

Not the deep, suicidal depressive state, but one where I feel like I’m stuck in mud up to my waist and trying to move while I slowly sink. It’s cumbersome and frustrating and not pretty.

I don’t know when I’m going to “snap out of it,” and I become frustrated. I wish to force an upturn. The longer it takes, though, the more frustrated and anxious I become. Agitated, I wonder when I can feel better again. The numbness to what’s going on around me is fine for a while, but eventually it turns into “what’s the point?” I slide further down into my depression.

Difficult Tasks

Sooner or later when I actually do something around the house, I receive praise for having done it.  Don’t get me wrong; it feels good to be appreciated.  However, acquiring a gold star for something so menial seems silly.  Internally, though, I recognize the accomplishment for what it actually was for me. A triumph. Continue reading “Stuck In the Sludge of Depression”

hands

Where Is Hope Hiding?

Painful Circumstances

My younger brother became gravely ill less than a year after the birth of his son (who had entered the world three months early).  It was an emotional time for all…first pulling for the little one and then pulling for his daddy.

Without going into details of my brother’s illness, he fought for his health and for his life over the next five years.  He had numerous transfusions, sat on a transplant list, and had complications with multiple organs.  His body seemed to be crumbling a bit at a time.  Each time I saw him, he was thinner, becoming skeletal.  Eventually, his appearance reminded me of the haunting images of Auschwitz’s prisoners.  Eyes sunken in, arms gangly.  Remaining properly nourished was a challenge when he couldn’t keep much down.  In August 2016, I traveled to Colorado to visit him in the hospital.  I didn’t realize these few days would be the last days of conversations between us. During that week, I spent every night in his hospital room.  We talked and talked and talked: about life, about memories, about hopes for the future, about marriage, children, and family.

sickness
His final month of life; still has an appetite!

Surgery was scheduled for that week.  Not only would this procedure improve current complications, it would also bump him up on the transplant list.  Before rolling away for surgery, I leaned over and kissed his forehead.  He gave me his quirky smile that said, “You’re my weird sister,” and I chuckled.  However, I became startled when my lips met his forehead.  He had no fat on his bones, I knew, but I wasn’t expecting the feeling that I was kissing his skull.  His skin was so dry and so thin and stretched tightly across his forehead.

Continue reading “Where Is Hope Hiding?”

Dried Roses

Mental Health & Marriage: Handle With Care

Marriage and mental health struggles don’t exactly go hand-in-hand.  

I haven’t always been sure my husband and I could overcome our challenges.  He didn’t set out to look for a wife who fights daily battles within her own mind.  Unfortunately, life has brought us here.  For better or for worse, right?  We went into this marriage believing that divorce is not an option; however, occasions emerged that cracked open that door.  We each have our own mental hardships; yet, with care and effort, we have held on.  Our first date was summer of 1994 at the Kimbell Art Museum, and today we celebrate our nineteenth year of marriage.  Yes, not the round 20, but each year deserves celebration!

Every year of marriage deserves a celebration, yet so does every day?! Click To Tweet

Continue reading “Mental Health & Marriage: Handle With Care”